Refrigeration firm redesigns cabinets for energy boost

Retail refrigeration specialist Verco has unveiled its Energy Plus range, a low-energy, high-performance line designed to accommodate recent changes in refrigerant usage regulations.

The Energy Plus includes a re-designed cabinet to improve airflow, LED lighting and specification of an R407f refrigerant, such as Honeywell’s Genetron Performax LT.

Its introduction has been driven by the European Parliament’s recent ratification of a partial ban on F-gases, a regulation designed to control the use of refrigerants that have a detrimental effect on the environment.

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As a result, Verco is initially introducing the Energy Plus as an option for its Kingston and Verwood models and plans to completely phase out the use of R404a in its range of open-chill and glass-door cabinets and replacing it with R407f.

Verco’s development director, Mike Nicholls, says that the Oxfordshire-based company’s environmental policy includes a commitment to monitoring the development of environmentally-friendly materials.

“Following extensive testing, R407f has been selected for its combination of zero ODP (ozone depletion potential) and 53% reduction in GWP (global warming potential) compared to R404a,” he said.

With Energy Plus already standard on the Quebec range of glass-door cabinets — including the single-door Q1XL, two-door Q2CC and three-door Q3CC — Verco has turned its attention to the open-chill Kingston and glass-door Verwood models.

“Customers specifying the Energy Plus option on Verwood models can expect significant energy savings of up to 33% at chill temperature,” added Nicholls.

The introduction of R407f also addresses the ATEX directive covering potentially explosive atmospheres or areas and the use of hydrocarbon-based refrigerants (such as R1270), which states that system designers follow the principles of the ATEX 95 equipment directive with regard to area classification and avoidance of sources of ignition.

In glass-door cabinets as an example, even a minor leak of hydrocarbon refrigerant cannot dissipate and a potentially explosive atmosphere could be created and persist.

The inability of the explosive atmosphere to dissipate substantially increases the risk of ignition, therefore bringing the ATEX directive into effect.

Nicholls said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to anticipate and satisfy safety requirements where hydrocarbons are used so, while Verco has committed to standardising on the use of non-flammable refrigerants such as R407f in its glass-door cabinets, we will continue to offer the option of R407f or R1270 on open-chill Kingston and Cambridge models.”

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